Have you ever had anyone described a new food to you, and you’re like – wait – back it up, say all of that again? And then you can’t stop thinking about this just-discovered food for days? Well, if you are lucky enough to jot down the ingredients, and then have a chance to cook it with the person who told you about it, and it is just somehow as magical as you thought it would be, then you are lucky.
Baleadas: This Honduran dish of flour tortillas, refried beans, cheese, scrambled eggs, and sour cream is infinitely satisfying and cravable.Tweet This
Also, before we get to all of it – imagine that it’s also ridiculously easy, fast, inexpensive, is made with easily available grocery store ingredients.
That’s what happened when my friend and occasional sous-chef Guillermo Cruz started to describe baleadas to me one day when we were cooking together. His girlfriend’s stepfather is Honduran, and as this is one of the national dishes of Honduras. Baleadas made an appearance in his house, and quickly became part of the rotation. You will soon see why.
What Are Baleadas?
Baleadas are a Central American dish that originated in Honduras. Traditionally the dish consists of a thick and fluffy flour tortillas covered with a thin layer of creamy refried red beans, crema, and queso dura. Baleadas Sencilla is the name for this particular version of baleada, also known as simple baleadas. A baleada mixta, or special baleada, includes the addition of scrambled eggs, which is what is going on here! And a super special baleada, as it’s known at restaurants in Honduras, might include anything from plantains to sausage to ground meat.
Baleadas are eaten warm out of hand. They are enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and many Hondurans eat them very regularly. Sometimes Hondurans make them at home, but they are often eaten at a restaurant or purchased from a stand or food truck.
What is in Baleadas?
In this recipe for special baleadas or Baleadas Especial, we have:
Flour tortillas – if you can find thicker flour tortillas, the kind that are traditionally used in this recipe, go for it. Otherwise try to find handmade flour tortillas, which are a definite cut above the packaged flour tortillas you can find in most grocery stores. However, those will work just fine if that’s what you can get.
Refried Red Beans – Creamy refried beans are the base layer of this dish. Some cooks make their own refried beans from scratch. I did not. You should look for Central American refried red beans, which might also be labeled Salvadorian.
Guillermo brought me a package of the red beans he and his girlfriend use, a brand called Ducal from Guatemala, and they were so flavorful and creamy, I know they made a very big difference in the recipe. They are available online, and in markets with a significant Central American clientele. I took Guillermo’s advice and heated them with a bit of olive oil blended in before assembling this recipe. The olive oil loosens and smooths out the beans and adds even more flavor. Note that they (and most refried beans) are pretty high in sodium, so adjust your salt seasoning in the recipe accordingly.
Queso Fresco – different kinds of cheeses, or quesos, are used in traditional baleadas. Queso dura is the most popular, a hard white crumbly cheese. I chose queso fresco, which has a milder less salty flavor. There is a lot of salt in the refried beans, and you will very lightly salt the eggs as well.
Scrambled Eggs – lightly scrambled eggs added to these baleadas make them “special”.
Avocado – this is an add-in that’s not an essential, but it’s a common choice, and how Guillermo makes them. Also I can think of few taco-like foods that don’t get better with the addition of avocado.
Sour Cream or Crema – we used sour cream instead of the looser crema, but either will work fine. If you can find a Honduran cream called Mantequillo Blanco, buy and use that! Very authentic.
Hot sauce – optional, but I think it makes the baleada kind of perfect.
How to Make Baleadas
Combine the beans with the olive oil in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until warm and smooth.
Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned, warm, and pliable. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover them with a clean dishtowel to keep them warm.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In the same skillet that you cooked the tortillas in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs, and scramble, stirring often, just until cooked. Slide out of the pan onto a plate.
Place a warm tortilla on each plate. Spread a heaping tablespoon of refried beans on each tortilla.
Spoon 1/6 of the scrambled eggs on the beans.
Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese and a few slices of avocado.
Finish with a tablespoon of sour cream or crema, and give the baleada a squirt of hot sauce if desired.
Eat while warm.
Other Breakfast Recipes:
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- ½ cup refried red beans , approximately
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 flour tortillas
- 6 eggs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup queso fresco or cotija cheese
- One avocado , sliced
- ⅓ cup sour cream or crema
- Hot sauce to serve, if desired
- Combine the beans with the olive oil in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until warm and smooth.
- Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Warm the tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned, warm, and pliable. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover them with a clean dishtowel to keep them warm.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In the same skillet that you cooked the tortillas in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs, and scramble, stirring often, just until cooked. Slide out of the pan onto a plate.
- Place a warm tortilla on each plate. Spread a heaping tablespoon of refried beans on each tortilla. Spoon 1/6 of the scrambled eggs on the beans. Top with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese, a few slices of avocado, and a tablespoon of sour cream or crema. Give the baleada a squirt of hot sauce if desired. Eat while warm.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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